User Interface Features (X32ReaperAutoMate and X32XLiveAutoMate)

User Interface

X32ReaperAutoMate and X32XLiveAutoMate have simple and similar graphical user interfaces [GUI] with a low set of options so you can focus on your mixing work.

The user interface per se (how you interact with the program) spans over two sections, one is an “X/M32 User Assign bank” with actual knobs and buttons on the X/M32 and is detailed later in this chapter. The other one is on you PC screen, probably the same system as the one running REAPER in the case of X32ReaperAutoMate. The main application window is shown below:

As explained, there are more technical fields that can be set at initialization time and are modifiable using the configuration files of the respective programs. The tool main window offers several fields you can fill and a few buttons that can be actioned. These are described in the following paragraphs.

Main Application Window

X32ReaperAutoMate UI                                                                                     X32XLiveAutoMate UI;

 

“X/M32 IP”

This is the IP at which your X/M32 is present on your local network. This field is also present in the configuration file and can be left empty; In that case, the “Connect” button below will display “Search” instead, enabling you to discover your X/M32 automatically on the local network. Note that the broadcast request for X/M32 presence is done only on the last 255 IP addresses of the local network, which should be suitable for the vast majority of use cases.

“Connect”, “Search X/M32”, “Running”

This is the main button for running the applications. If the X/M32 IP address is already known at initialization time (i.e. provided with the configuration file), it will be displayed in the “X32 IP” Address field and the button will display “Connect”. If the X/M32 IP address is left blank, the button will display “Search”. In the latter case, the X/M32 will be auto discovered and its IP address will be displayed in the respective field once found. With both “Connect” and “Search” options, the program will start and initialize the X/M32, using all options and initial data found in the configuration file. If all steps go well, the button will finally display “Running”, showing the tool is ready to manage OSC data between REAPER and X/M32, or manage X-Live data.

“Mix Name” & “Load”, “Save”, “S”, “M”

X32ReaperAutoMate and X32XLiveAutoMate workflows manage X/M32 events relative to REAPER or X-Live audio data, respectively. This combined information can be saved and restored as ‘Mix’es using the “Save” and “Load” buttons. When using “Save” or “Load”, the tool refers to a project name which is entered or selected by the user and is used for naming project files and being dispalyed in the “Mix Name” user interface field. A Mix is comprised of two files, one containing OSC events and one containing an initial X/M32 state.

Using the “Save” and “Load” buttons, one can create different versions of an audio mix, and replay them at will, for example to compare changes.

The push-button on the right of the group indicates what is saved:

– When indicating “S”, “Save” will save the existing OSC events and the state of the X32 surface at the time of the “Save” request.

– When indicating “M”, “Save” saves the existing OSC events and the state of the X32 surface at the beginning of the Mix.

This enables you to work on setting up your X32 recording environment and work on or prepare your X32 state (in the form of an X32 scene). When you are ready to record your Mix, including for example fader moves along the audio, you should ensure the last X32 state you set up is your initial scene (either loading a saved Mix with that state, or using the “Scene Save” X32 button (see below) and select “M” to ensure the saved Mix includes the X32 state set at the beginning of your Mix.

“Scene #”, “Scene Load”

X/M32 scenes play a key role in ensuring a project mix starts from or correctly maintains its proper X/M32 set of parameters. Setting a scene number value [1…96]1 in the “Scene #” field and clicking on the “Scene Load” button will load the respective X/M32 internal scene and apply changes to the X/M32 digital audio engine. In all cases, the transport user interface will be secured after updating the X/M32 with a new scene, and the selected X/M32 User Assign bank section [A, B, or C] will receive the transport options and engine that comes along with the programs.

“Sel. Channel #1”, “Sel. Channel #2”

X32ReaperAutoMate and X32XLiveAutoMate feature 3 powerful editing tools that allow you to modify your mix.  Using the Channel Selector, you may select up to 2 channels for editing.  These channels may be of any type available on the console, including all buses, DCAs and FX returns.  Channels that are selected using the Channel Selector may then be edited using the tools described below (note: Linked channels must both be selected).

Using the Channel Selector:

Click and hold the Channel Selector pulldown arrow to open a channel list for selection with the mouse.   The list cannot display the entire list of channels that are available, so you may scroll through them using the Up/Down arrows on your keyboard.  Keyboard shortcuts work in Channel Selector.  If you are interested in selecting a DCA, typing “D” and pressing the down arrow will scroll through the DCA channels starting with DCA1.  These shortcuts work for all channels (e.g. Bus, Channel, Fx RTN, etc.) except FX1 – FX8 which must be selected manually by scrolling down to the bottom of the list.

Note that FX1 – FX8 represent the slots in the effects rack.  So, if you’ve automated some FX moves that you want to edit, select the appropriate rack slot and use the tools below.

  1. Suspend Automation allows the engineer to suspend, at will, channels of automation.  This is very useful when trying out new possible edits, before committing them to automation.  This feature is also useful if you need to edit the track items in the DAW while hearing automation on the other tracks.  It’s also useful if you want to re-cut certain tracks but you want to hear how those tracks fit with your automated mix while recording.  Suspend Automation allows you to do “what-ifs” without losing the automation you’ve already written.
  2. Channel Edit allows real-time automation editing of up to any 2 channels of automation.  This function erases the previously-written automation and records new automation moves on-the-fly.  In order to use Channel Edit you must first select 1 or 2 channels for editing.  Then, you must enable Channel Edit on the User-Assigned transport (the button will light when armed).  Entering Write mode will engage Channel Edit.  You may selectively edit any section by punching-in and out using the Read/Write button.  When the Read/Write button is lit, Write mode is engaged and you are writing new automation.
  3. Delete wipes the automation on the selected channels.  This feature is great for “starting over” on channels if you want to do fresh moves, or you want to create a special mix but keep most of the current automation.

When you are finished editing, you should use the Channel Selector and choose the OFF option.  You may press “O”/down arrow to get to OFF quickly.  Be sure to turn off Channel Edit on the user-assigned transport.

“New Mix”

This button enables you to create a new Mix with your current setup. When you engage “New Mix”, X32ReaperAutoMate and X32XLiveAutoMate will prompt you to save your current work; It also sets the audio engine to a STOP and RtZ state, and eventually deletes all automation events from the current Mix so you can start from a clean slate. What is important is that “New Mix” does not change any of the current/ongoing X/M32 scene or settings currently in place, unless of course if you also decide to load a scene using “Scene Load” after calling “New Mix”.

You will also be asked if you want to reset the application user interface state to initial values, affecting “AutomationON”, “Repeat”, “Read/Write”2, etc states.

1 Internal scenes 97 and 98 are reserved by the tool. Internal scene 99 could potentially be used by MixingStation